Monday, August 28, 2017

Prologue Ready for Testing

Hey guys! The first hour or so of the game is finished, and I'd like to get some feedback. If you're interested in some testing, send me an email at zach(DOT)holbrook(AT)gmail(DOT)com and I'll send a link to a zipped version.

A few things about this version:

1. It's pretty conversation-heavy, but there are four battles available.
2. You'll need to make four characters and keep them alive, or the game might break on you.
3. The playable part of the game pretty much ends right after you get your license and talk to Vance at the inn. There are only a few things you can do after that.
4. The rules I'm using are a little weird, and I don't have much in-game guidance for them yet. To win battles, use spells and traits liberally.
5. You *might* get enough XP to level up, but levels don't really work as intended for my custom character classes after 1st (yet).

Monday, July 24, 2017

Revised Town Map and Other News

After some deliberation and worries about how long it would take me, I decided to revise the town map. The old one had its charm, but it looked a little too slipshod for the area that players will likely see most when they play the game. Here's a toolset screenshot from the new one:

I am still working on finishing up the preliminary section of the game (brief plot summary: it sets up how the characters arrive in Hamlet-on-the-Deeps and start exploring the dungeon). It should really be done soon, I swear! Areas are done, I just need to work on one combat and some conversations.

I've also added another song to the Chilly Catbird band's repertoire:

More coming soon.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer Work

I'm happy to say that tomorrow is the last day of the (long) semester, and after that I'll be working on the game consistently for the next two months, minus a week or two of travel. I'm not sure how often I will blog about my work, as I'm really trying to dedicate as much time as possible to development -- and, though I've done much, I have tons to do. I've also discovered a limit to how much I can say here -- a lot of the most exciting stuff I'm doing involves spoilers.

That said, know that I have been working diligently on this project since its conception, that I've structured my life in such a way to accommodate work on it (I'm even teaching one fewer classes in the fall for this reason!), and that I've now reached a point where I feel comfortable and confident about its eventually seeing the light of day. "Eventually" is a nice lenient word, but right now I'm aiming for next spring.

These are some of the design principles of the game:

*Story > World-building
*Conversation > Exposition
*The game responds mechanically and narratively to character builds -- often simultaneously
*Tight XP and money economy

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Songs from the Chilly Catbird: Copper Age

This is one of the tracks that plays at the local inn. Have I done anything beside make music for the game? Yes! Lots! A proper update will be coming soon, as soon as the summer break begins. But I'm very happy with where the game is now, even though I have tons yet to do.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Ida's Deeps Theme Song

Yay! Lots of work on the game this weekend. Combat is shaping up nicely, and I've finished the theme music for another part of the game, the dungeons of Ida's Deeps.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sorry It's Been So Long!

I've actually been hard at work on the game and made a number of refinements to the scope, narrative, and gameplay. I just haven't blogged, partially because while I can talk about stuff, there's only so much I can really show you or discuss that's of general interest -- and then there's always the possibility I'll change my mind about something, as I've already done with some elements I thought to have established early on.

But I recently finished the PC character portraits, finally -- here are the finished 20 (tokens are the same but just the heads).

Friday, March 10, 2017

Past Tense in Action

This post returns to the subject of a previous post -- past tense and its utility. One of the best things about it for game writing -- especially for games like mine which are low on visual information -- is how much information past tense narration can give in a short amount of time. It takes stuff out of the player's hands, sure, but a lot of that stuff isn't very important (think of all the ways you've had to say goodbye in games). Here's an example of a scene in my game that uses past tense. Everything in bold is a player choice.

The adventurers infiltrated the crowd, hoping to glean information from some of the customers.

Most of the people in the common room were adventurers of some sort, so it was hard to find conversations that didn't involve boasts about treasure, battles, or faction politics. But some stray words on the subject of the Lord Mayor's family caught <FirstName>'s ear, and the party soon found themselves conversing with two individuals, a man and woman, seated in the corner furthest from Cricket.

"Ah, so that's Rylev's sister. He asked us to find out what she's doing in town."

"Did he now? You must be with the Society then. Well, Kilyar and I are free agents," said the man -- his name was Desi.

"And by that, Desi means free in the normal way, not in the Society way." said Kilyar.

"Which is another way of saying we just live here."

"That's right. We' re not adventurers."


"As for what she's doing here," Desi continued, "Kilyar and I have no idea."

"Folks will talk. You know -- She's killed her husband; she's run away with a still unknown and apparently invisible young man; she's stolen a vast quantity of jewels and is on the run from Last City law enforcement."

"And then there's the most obvious theory."

"She's here for Ida's Deeps, just like the rest of you."

"But what about the dungeon interests her? 'Ida's Deeps' is only a partial explanation."

"True. Maybe she'll oblige you with the other part herself," said Kilyar.

The two companions moved on to another subject, and the adventurers excused themselves.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hard at Work/Getting Rid of Chaff

I've been writing, tweaking things, and experimenting a bit with the game, but I haven't much I can really post about. But I swear my silence is productive. 

One of the things I've been intent on recently is cutting -- editing both my writing and, more broadly, elements in the overall design that seem to me superfluous now. 

For instance, I've recently gotten rid of extensive item descriptions for common items as well as detailed mechanical information on weapons and armor. The game is going to be writing-heavy in some respects, but I want most of that writing to be in the form of conversation, and I want to make exposition as minimal as possible. Item descriptions, save in some special cases, will give only mechanical info. For instance, I recently changed the description of a copper wand from a few sentences about the icons on the wand, how difficult the storage of discordium is in magical implements, etc., to "Does magical damage." The other information may be provided in other ways if it seems important for the player to know, or it may not -- I'm really trying to curb the world-building enthusiasm many fantasy-inclined people have except where it has something really important to do with the story.

I also found that I was packing way too much info onto the text item icons, which made them confusing and unattractive, especially on small screens; the information was also redundant and easily accessible via in-game menus. So I've stripped these mechanical elements details away. 

A happy coincidence is that the elimination of both item descriptions and detailed item icons will save me time when adding more items to the game.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Brief Scene Excerpt (Adventurers try to fill out questionnaire at Society for Autonomous Individuals)

[Selections in bold represent player's choices]

"Which of the following statements best describes your abhorrence for adventuring guilds like the Lucrios Expedition House?"

1. "The low entertainment, easy wages, and unscrupulous conduct found there thwart my progress toward freedom of thought and action."
2. "The contrived camaraderie one always sees in such places excites my misanthropic organ."
3. "While the entrepreneurial drive of someone like Eduard Lucrios is commendable, I resent putting another person's name above my own."
4. Not finding any choice they could support without important qualifications, the adventurers appealed to Rylev.

"There may not be a perfect answer; just try to settle on the best answer," he said.

1. "We are going to look for work elsewhere," said <FirstName> grumpily.
2. The party resigned themselves to finishing the questionnaire.

"Oh? All right," said Rylev, returning to his papers. As the party left, he called after them -- "If you change your minds, you know where to find me."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


I have no sense of anything firm yet, and I anticipate work slowing down while the semester ramps up. That said, I intend to spend a lot of the summer (which I have off) working on the game, and may have slightly more freedom to do so in the fall, too. I'd really like to finish everything by around this time next year, but I could also see it taking longer. Writing is by far the most mysterious variable. Sometimes it takes a long time, sometimes very little.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Charisma, Part 2

Yesterday I discussed how Charisma interacts with conversation options in the game. Today I'm discussing what else Charisma affects -- treasure and experience rewards.

After winning any battle, the game will check to see if any character has a certain Charisma score or higher. This number will vary. If they do, the characters will have the option of selecting better rewards. Charismatic characters also get bigger experience bonuses from completing quests.

This may seem odd, especially given Charisma's traditional domain -- personality, leadership, etc. It's true that I've broadened the attribute to encompass what same game systems would call luck. But it makes a kind of intuitive sense to me that a magnetic personality could attract good fortune as well as people. 

If the party includes no characters with high Charisma but players want these extra rewards, there is a way for them to get them -- they have to use trait slots to purchase "Fortune's Favored" (which gets them any treasure Charisma 16 would) and/or "Itinerant of Renown" (which gets them XP rewards that Charisma 16 would).  

Friday, February 17, 2017

Charisma, Part 1

In at least one way, Charisma works in the game just like you'd expect it to: it makes characters more persuasive in conversation. Unlike most contemporary editions of D&D, it does this all on its own, with no Diplomacy, Bluff, or Intimidate skills. There are a few reasons for this:

1) All non-combat skills in the game use Wisdom.

2) I wanted to make Charisma itself more versatile in more situations.

3) There's sometimes a fine line between the conversation skills, Bluff and Diplomacy especially.

4) Finally, I wanted players to read, interpret, and make decisions about conversation choices because of the language itself. Using Charisma, which is pretty broad conceptually ("compelling attractiveness or charm"), allows them to do this with some mechanical element still involved in success likelihood.

But that wasn't enough. While there are certainly payoffs to having high Charisma in terms of narrative, as well as a few scattered mechanical benefits, the benefits aren't nearly as consistent and predictable as what's conferred by Strength. I'll talk tomorrow about what else Charisma does.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fluff Diaries #2: Magicians and the Church

In a lot of games and fantasy literature, users of magic and clergymen have an antagonistic relationship. This is only half-true in Dungeon-Town.

The Church of the Perfect Light really doesn't like witchcraft or witches, but most of the conflicts between witches and priests happened ages ago, and the two can exist uncomfortably with each other. 

More impressively, the study of High Magic was for a long time part of the Church. As mentioned in an earlier post, the discoverers of discordium were theologians. After that discovery, magic began to evolve into its own branch of study separate from Perfect Light theology. Seeing this, the Radiant Synod decided that learning might flourish better outside Church walls, so they sanctioned the establishment of Libraria, where scholars who did not always strictly comply with Church doctrine could work and still benefit the Church with new magical discoveries. These quasi-religious institutions eventually evolved their own secular culture and customs. The relationships between Libraria and their parent organization, though they have sometimes been strained, are cordial. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tedious Rascal

One of the traits available in character creation is "Tedious Rascal." When I was developing the game's tone and style, I was torn between a Vancian world of ridicule, outrageousness, and sordid behavior, and a world less like our own. I opted for something in between. But one remnant of that first world is the "Tedious Rascal" trait. This trait enables unique conversation options otherwise unavailable. They are silly and pretentious, in the vein of the dialog options you'd sometimes groan at in Baldur's Gate but, I'm hoping, more of a piece. They're kind of like the "Wild Wasteland" trait in Fallout: New Vegas, in that their addition makes the game a little less serious -- not that it's very serious to begin with. Though mostly cosmetic, choosing "Tedious Rascal" options sometimes rewards or penalizes the player.

Monday, February 13, 2017


One of the more Dungeon-Town-like locations I visited. Also, this 3D-printed cave:

Now for an update. I'm currently working on expanding and/or tweaking the basic weapons in the game. I'm also writing, and I've finished up one of the first faction quest lines and have just begun another. I've also started using Coggle to keep track of the narrative, quest branches, and map out the story so that I can proceed in a less haphazard way. It's a great tool.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

A Little Vacation

I'm going to Italy for a week! I'll be back a week from tomorrow. My laptop is coming with me, so Dungeon-Town will not be neglected.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Conversation Tree

Here's one of the game's bigger conversation trees. It's taking a while to write these, but it's been rewarding -- this comes from Archbishop Creuscia, one of the faction leaders. Don't look too closely if you don't want spoilers! I'm just giving the picture to give a sense of how the conversations branch.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Some of the Finished Portraits

These are the character sheet portraits. Each one corresponds to a PC token that moves around on maps, so if you've seen screenshots they will look familiar. Many of them look like 90s baristas, but I've decided I'm okay with that. I still have a few more to go.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Introducing Neck Junk

It will come as a surprise to no one that adventuring parties will be able to salvage useless goods from the bodies of the fallen. I wanted to make this booty feel special. I wanted to make this treasure seem unique, but also to make clear to cautious adventurers that they needn't hold onto it. Hence the "Junk" category, subdivided into different categories of wearable junk as appropriate. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Narration Example

Here's an example of what I posted about a few days ago. You can see that there's a mix of standard RPG-style responses and some past-tense narration.  

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Update and Color Question

What with grading papers and trying to be a good citizen, I've had little time this weekend to put into Dungeon-Town. But that doesn't mean no time.

You may have noticed that, little by little, color has been creeping into the screenshots I've been posting. Originally I was going to go all black and white, but it just made no sense not to use some color for UI elements to better organize things visually. I'm still trying to be sparing with it, though, for the sake of consistency and game flavor. So far, I'm using crimson for player outlines and status effects, purple for enemy outlines, and a dark brownish yellow for the log. Share any thoughts you have!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Past Tense and Third Person

Conversations in the game unfold normally. But there are some exceptions. I'm using narration, not just dialog. So you may occasionally get a "he said" or "she said," though I'm trying not to use stuff like "he said, his mouth twisting into a scornful sneer." That can get very exhausting to read. I'll also have some descriptive narration built in. My visual environments are very minimalistic, so I'm counting on text to carry some of the weight of immersion.

More unconventionally, I'm not using the typical tense of game narration, the present, and I'm not using "You" to refer to the player. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Pale Felsprites

These are some of the first creatures parties will meet when exploring the dungeons. They're kind of like goblins. The first set of images is for melee attackers, the second is for ranged. They throw stones (even if in the image it looks like they throw large marbles).

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Current Tasks

-Fine-tuning class designs 
-Putting all powers (with statistics) into a spreadsheet
-Fully implementing (i.e., with visuals and stats) tinker, magician, and witch first-level powers for testing
-Fully implementing class-specific unique weapons for testing
-Testing combat (balance and bugs) A LOT
-Converting non-token portraits
-Finishing conversation trees for first faction quest (Church Militant)
-Slowly adding all mundane weapons and armor to game with stats and textual icons
-Adding cave tiles and making maps for Ida's Deeps
-Adding tiles for the Librarium interior

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Wastrels are the game's version of bards. Non-specialists who have wasted their lives in dilettantish pursuits, they have access to first- and second-level powers from all classes, all the games' traits, and most arms and armor. Unfortunately, wastrels' SP and BAB are among the lowest in the game, so while they may have knowledge and potential, their ability to put thought into action isn't always evident in their performance on the field of battle. A wastrel with the right stats, equipment, and trait/power loadout can be deadly, though.

Photo from the title of a 1911 novel by the same name I found on Google Books (not an in-game image).

Monday, January 23, 2017


I posted earlier about some of the skills in the game, all of which come from traits (feats). Here is how one of those skills -- "Tactician," available only to mercenaries, captains, and wastrels -- will work.

First, before any combat, the game checks to make sure one of the players has this trait and a high enough wisdom. If so, the players enter a tactics map.

As you can see, the map gives details about some of the enemies. It also includes a Help button.

Walking over this button triggers a Help dialog, so players who don't read my blog will know what is going on.

Finally, the player chooses one of the red squares to arrange his/her starting forces. In lots of encounters, this can give a huge advantage. The battle begins as soon as the player enters one of these squares.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Fluff Diaries #1: Discordium

Let's Go Down to Dungeon-Town has two kinds of magic -- witchcraft, practiced by the witch class, and high magic, practiced by magicians. I'll go into more detail about witchcraft later, but here's a brief run-down on one of the crucial components of high magic, discordium.

Discordium is both a magical substance or energy (think mana) and grammar. I know that doesn't make much sense, but I feel like that's how magic should be.

The first magicians in the modern sense (i.e., in the sense of the game) were theologians of the Church of the Perfect Light whose studies of the holy texts provided them with what they called "echoes" of the language used to create the world. They realized that these echoes had patterns and rules like those of mundane grammar. When apprehending this fact -- but only momentarily, because they could not hold the apprehension in their minds very long --, they spontaneously generated what they later learned to call discordium. How this apprehension happens and why it is impossible to prolong it remain great mysteries.

Anyway, with discordium the theologians discovered they could manipulate and distort the patterns of creation to make magic. They called it discordium because it was, in musical terms, discordant with the music of creation and the nature of reality. Magic owes its extraordinary effects to this fact.

In-game description of discordium:

Discordium is an invisible but definite substance as well as the grammar of a language -- a concept very hard to wrap one's mind around, but there it is. All magicians use discordium when casting spells, but the process of isolating and preserving it for complicated magical purposes like implement use and ceremonies can be quite challenging. Despite the efforts of some entrepreneurial magicians, discordium, unlike most things, resists commodification.

 In less fluffy terms, the "High Magic" trait allows magicians to gather discordium and to use it to power their wands and to trigger powerful out-of-battle spells.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

Combat Music (For a Game)

I'll talk about discordium over the weekend. The day has me feeling combative, and I just finished working on the combat song for the game. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Some Changes to Armor

Whenever I am out shopping, it is always weird to see magical leather armor costing so much more than mundane armor that offers better protection. Sure, the magical leather wouldn't come with a steep armor check penalty and wouldn't be as heavy, but these considerations seem very slight compared to that of dying all the time because of inadequate protection. In the interest of streamlining, I got rid of some mundane armors that seemed mechanically redundant, but otherwise mundane armor in Dungeon-Town has a progression of AC/max DEX bonus very similar to D&D's. But I'm changing magic armor so that any +1 for any piece also comes with two additional perks -- +5 HP and +5% resistance to different damage types. These advantages are small enough not to break the game (plus, creatures will have these or comparable advantages, too) but still make magical armor more powerful than mundane armor. Someone wearing +1 Leather Armor has a reason to wear it instead of mundane Studded Leather.

Tomorrow I am going to switch gears and talk fluff. Specifically, discordium, which is Dungeon-Town's version of mana. Kind of. Also in the works for some time within the next week -- "Combat Music for a Game." 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Weapon Tweaks

Most of the d20 arms and armor standards will be in place in the game, but there are some tweaks. Mundane weapons do not have different damage types (piercing, bludgeoning, slashing do not exist in Iceblink), for instance, though magical weapons and effects usually do -- more on that later.

Instead, weapons of a similar damage range often offer balanced penalties and bonuses to PC stats to help differentiate them. Class restrictions differentiate them further. Let's take maces, spears, sickles, and rapiers, all of them 1d6-damage weapons.

Damage: 1d6
Bonuses/Penalties: None
Classes: Captain, Mercenary, Zealot, Wastrel

Damage: 1d6
Bonuses/Penalties: Range 2 (can attack across one square)
Classes: Captain, Mercenary, Wastrel

Damage: 1d6
Bonuses/Penalties: STR +1, DEX -1
Classes: Witch, Captain, Mercenary, Wastrel

Damage: 1d6
Bonuses/Penalties: STR -1, DEX +1
Classes: Magician, Captain, Mercenary, Wastrel

There's obviously a great deal of abstraction here. Rapiers don't magically increase agility while cutting strength, but they effectively cancel out some of the combatant's hitting/damage-dealing potential while increasing the wielder's ability to dodge, parry, etc. But this admittedly rough simulation is not nearly as important to me as offering players meaningful weapon choices for each character and eliminating redundancy. Weapon suitability varies quite a bit depending on class, stat arrays, and planned combat role.

I'll talk about some changes to armor (magical armor especially) tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Player Tokens

These are the player avatars. They're basically miniature portraits that move. Originally, I was going to just use these with thick borders for the avatar portraits on character sheets and along the screen border, but I decided to add upper bodies to them -- I'll post a picture of those when they're done.

Monday, January 16, 2017


The zealot is Dungeon-Town's approximation of a D&D cleric. Here is the in-game description:

For whatever reason, zealots have been refused any rank higher than Acolyte within the hierarchy of the Church of the Perfect Light. Sometimes at odds with the Church and sometimes in accord with it, they wander the world on their own eccentric quests. They are quick to throw themselves in harm's way and disdain ranged weapons, but in fact they are quite bad at melee fighting. Instead, parties profit most from their healing and fire magic.

The zealot has a weaker BAB than the cleric but can make up for it with more offensive spells -- all of which use fire. In addition, they are still able to keep to the front lines with access to all armor (minus plate), plus higher fortitude saves than their D&D cousins. They also have access to the Mystic and Brawler traits. Mystic attunes them to supernatural forces, making them more aware of supernatural dangers than other characters; Brawler lets them resort to fisticuffs when necessary.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


These are the skills in the game at the moment. The list may shrink or expand. Each class in the game -- one special class excepted -- has access to two of these; players select them when selecting traits. I'm pretty sure there will be two tiers for each skill. Finally, Wisdom is going to be the attribute that all skills use, the philosophy being that wisdom represents practical application of knowledge or ability. (Also, this keeps Wisdom from always being a dump stat!)

High Magic 
Low Magic 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Class Flavor Through Text

Classes in Dungeon-Town will have different mechanical flavors, as usual. A lot of games also make classes feel distinct using appearance. Because of the bare-bones art style I've chosen and some other limiting factors (like player choice of portrait), I'm almost exclusively using text and narrative for the same purpose.

That said, I'm also trying to stay away from lengthy exposition sa much as possible. Instead, I'm using some of the textual elements players will see most often, i.e., the names of powers, to gives players a sense of how their characters might fit into the game world with fewer words and broader strokes.

Magician's First-Level Spells

Arrow of Kleos
Minor Discord of Antiphemios 
Armor of Tyromachus 

Witch's First-Level Spells

Prithee Sleep, Cruel Babes 
Old Meg, She Gave Them Succor 
Ballad of the Frogs

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Factions

You control a band of adventurers who have come to explore Ida's Deeps, a huge dungeon occupying the interior of a mountain. The way in was sealed for ages, but that has changed. Unfortunately, you are late. The dungeons have been opened for a year, attracting adventurers from all over as well as organizations with different agendas. The Lord Mayor has decreed that all adventurers have to sign on with one of these factions to enter the dungeons. These factions are:

The Lucrios Expedition House, a straightforward moneymaking enterprise
The Librarium, a society of scholars, archaeologists, and power-hungry magicians
The Church Militant of the Perfect Light, religious soldiers who want to guard against ancient evils and enrich their institution
The Society for Autonomous Individuals, a faction with no apparent institutional agenda besides allowing freelancers access to Ida's Deeps

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Current Tasks

-Fine-tuning class designs
-Putting all powers (with statistics) into a spreadsheet
-Fully implementing (i.e., with visuals and stats) tinker, magician, and witch first-level powers for testing
-Fully implementing class-specific unique weapons for testing
-Testing combat (balance and bugs) A LOT

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Just Humans

As I responded to a comment in an earlier post, there will only be humans in this game, mostly because if I were to incorporate dwarves, elves, etc., I'd want to make their presence a meaningful part of the narrative and world, and I'm more interested in having the story revolve around profession and faction choice.

Many players like non-humans because of the mechanical variety they add to character creation. In place of the traditional options, players in Dungeon-Town can choose an unusual circumstance of birth occupying the same mechanical niche. The births of heroes from myth and legend have influenced most of these ideas.


Some Hypothetical Natal Circumstances 

Raised by Wolves 
Found in Rushes
Stygian Bath 
The Stronger One (strangled twin in womb)
Raised by Shepherds
"Changeling" (character has zero resemblance to father)
Born with a Caul


Because the player makes four characters, this can obviously lead to some narrative absurdity -- four heroes walking around all of whom were raised by wolves, for example. But realism for its own sake isn't one of my design goals.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Tinker Features

Yesterday, I discussed some of the features of the tinker, with more of an emphasis on the class's limitations than on what makes it cool -- though Engineering and Alchemy did get mentioned. So here are some perks:

  • Tinkers are the only class that can use flintlocks. Flintlocks are the only ranged weapon to use the D12.
  • Tinkers have access to grenades, which are handled through use of SP rather than through inventory. The main categories are ghostpowder (entangling), vitriolic bombs (acid damage), and amber charges (electrical damage). Each grenade has different tiers.
  • Tinkers also have access to the experimental rifle, another tiered SP-driven power.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


The tinker is the first class I began work on, and it's now almost complete. Here's the in-game description:

Tinkers believe themselves to be experts in the fields of magico-mechanical engineering, firearms, and alchemy. In fact, their knowledge is incomplete, often dangerously so, and only the lucky few survive long enough to produce technologies that consistently benefit their users. Like many thinking people, they tend to be physical cowards. They make poor front-line fighters, but their grenades and guns can help win battles.

Defense and BAB progression are very similar to the SRD rogue's. Tinkers can't use shields or wear mundane armor with greater than +3 AC, and they are limited to using ranged weapons and, in melee, only simple blades. Tinkers have average HP and SP (in Iceblink, SP power spells and spell-like abilities, of which the tinker has several).

Design-wise, this is the class closest to the traditional rogue, with less emphasis on stealth/sneaky abilities, which I didn't want to bother with (I have reasons for this I'll get into later). But the rogue is only one of two classes with access to Engineering, a trait that functions in much the same way as trap detection skills in other RPGs but has some broader applications too.

Friday, January 6, 2017

First Post

This is a development blog for a game I'm working on. Here's a bit of what I know:

TITLE: Let's Go Down to Dungeon-Town
ORIGINAL TITLE: Combat & Conversation

ENGINE: Iceblink
PLATFORMS: PC and Android
TYPE: Single-player, turn-based narrative/dungeon crawl RPG with party creation

RPG SETTING: My own. Has elements in common with the setting of The Birthday
ART STYLE: Black-and-white, MS Paint
NARRATIVE STYLE: Anthony Trollope, Jack Vance, J.R.R. Tolkien
SOME GAMEPLAY NUMBERS: 4 factions, 8 nonstandard classes, over 50 nonstandard traits and powers, 10 dungeon levels, 1 town

TOWN NAME: Hamlet-on-the-Deeps